City Council is pleased to announce Jim Joseph as the inaugural honoree of the Williamsburg Mace Bearer’s Award.
This new award honors individuals or groups who have made a lasting, positive impact on the City of Williamsburg community.
Joseph, 86, has lived in the City of Williamsburg since 1996, when he moved to the City with his wife, Marjorie. In 2001, Mayor Jeanne Zeidler and Council Member George Genakos founded the Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg (NCW) to improve communication between City Council, City government, and neighborhoods. The two council members asked Joseph, who served on his neighborhood’s homeowners association at the time, to help them launch an organization that would be led by the community instead of the government.
Under Joseph’s leadership, the NCW quickly established itself as a vital resource for residents. He enlisted neighborhoods to the organization, recruited speakers who led initiatives or organizations that affected the lives of City residents, and structured the monthly meetings so that they were regimented and respectful.
“For the past 21 years, Jim Joseph has dedicated his time, energy, and expertise to the Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg to the greater benefit of the Williamsburg community,” Mayor Douglas Pons said. “His leadership from the very beginning shaped this group into an invaluable resource for City residents and City government. Because of his efforts, our residents are better informed and engaged, and our elected officials and City staff are more responsive to residents’ needs.”
In his 26 years as a City of Williamsburg resident, Joseph has been active in the community. From 2007-2012, Joseph served on the City of Williamsburg Planning Commission. As a member of the Planning Commission, Joseph served on the Beautification Committee where he started a grant program to support communities to enhance their entrance landscaping.
Joseph’s first foray into civic life in Williamsburg was as a member of a committee to find a use for the former site of the Williamsburg Community Hospital. He has also served on a committee to work with William & Mary to solve problems and enhance communications. Joseph is a member of the Cedar Grove Historical Society and volunteers for Cedar Grove Cemetery to repair the American flags used at each Memorial Day and Veterans Day flag-setting ceremonies. In honor of his wife after her death in 2016, Joseph established the Marjorie C. Joseph Scholarship Fund through the Williamsburg Community Foundation.
Recipients of the Williamsburg Mace Bearer’s Award have made significant contributions to the City beyond what is expected from their employment or professional roles; demonstrated creative leadership that has positively contributed to the cohesion and unity of the City community; and contributed significantly to an initiative that has brought positive change and added value to the City community.
The award is named for the Mace of the City, a Colonial-era artifact that is now part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s museum collections. In the 18th century, maces were used ceremonially to convey the importance of an event or function. It is believed that the Mace of the City of Williamsburg was carried in a municipal procession on May 1, 1783, in celebration of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War.
“With Jim as the inaugural member, we are building a society of mace bearers who embody the values of One Williamsburg and carry this honor with them wherever they go,” Pons said.
The Williamsburg Mace Bearer’s Award will be held at 6 p.m. today, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at the Stryker Center, 412 N. Boundary St. The ceremony will be held prior to the premiere of the State of the City video.
See the award video on the City of Williamsburg’s YouTube page at youtube.com/williamsburggov.